Emmy winner and Golden Globe nominee Jessica Walter dies at the age of 80
ComingSoon.net is sad to report (via Variety) that Emmy-winning and two-time Golden Globe nominee Jessica Walter is best known for her roles on the Jason Bateman-directed ensemble sitcom Arrested development and popular FX animation series Archer, died at the age of 80. Although the exact cause of death has not yet been determined, sources report that Walter died while sleeping in their New York home.
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“Jessica Walter’s spectacular twist as the diabolical Lucille Bluth is one of the great comedic performances in television history, and we loved working with her as much as the audience loved her Arrested development“20th TV said in a statement.”Our hearts go out to her family and friends, especially her daughter and our former colleague Brooke. We know heaven has gotten a lot funnier with Jessica, who is now in the residence.”
Walter led an impressive career in her six decades in the industry with her second major film role in John Frankenheimer’s 1966 sports drama Grand Prize She landed her first Golden Globe nomination and would quickly win her second nomination five years later in Clint Eastwood’s acclaimed directorial psychological thriller Play Misty for Me. At the same time as her leading roles in the films, Walter also established herself as a strong presence on the small screen with guest roles in Flipper, the fugitive, the FBI, Impossible mission and Hawaii Five-O.
All of this would lead to her appearing on NBC’s crime drama Ironside and get their own spinoff series Amy Prentiss That lasted three two-hour episodes on the network and secured Walter her first Emmy win. After appearing in a number of TV series and films, including the one directed by Peter Hooten Dr. StrangeWalter would begin to find a new series of leading roles in television and film as matriarch Fran in ABC’s cult classic dinosaur, Campus President Garcia-Thompson in the wildly underrated college comedy PCU and Natasha Lyonne-led dramedy Beverly Hills slums.
She would soon find one of her best-known roles as the matriarch of the Bluth family, Lucille, in Mitchell Hurwitz. Arrested development in 2003, which ran for three seasons on Fox before being canceled and later revived by Netflix for a split fourth season of 37 episodes and a fifth season of 16 episodes, also split in half. Her newfound small screen dominance would expand with the animated FX spy comedy in 2009 Archer as mother of the title spy Malory and was also part of the main cast of the short-lived TV country sitcoms Retired at 35 and Jennifer Falls. Unfortunately, Walter marks the second member of the Archer Main voice during the run of the show with Oscar nominee George Coe, the voice of Sterling’s valet Sir Arthur Woodhouse, who died in 2015 and whose character will be advertised for the series after five seasons and a twelfth season. There is a possibility that Malory will also be forced to be written out.
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Many of Walter’s fans and former employees have used various social media channels to mourn their friend and star. Some of them are:
Jessica Walter was an unparalleled talent. So funny. So insanely good at everything she was in. Wonderful to be here. I will miss her.
– H. Jon Benjamin (@HJBenjamin) March 25, 2021
Dear Jessica. #PlayMistyForMe https://t.co/s4Nj1PPmek
– Natasha Lyonne (@nlyonne) March 25, 2021
Rest in peace, Jessica Walter.
I want to cry so badly, but I don’t think I can spare the moisture. pic.twitter.com/z2YcubswkX
– Brian Lynch (@BrianLynch) March 25, 2021
Jessica Walter was on the first TV show I ever did when I was 16. She was classy and funny and beautiful and had the sexiest voice ever. That makes me very sad. But I think lucky that she is with her Ron now. rest in peace
– Samantha Mathis (@samanthamathis) March 25, 2021
Jessica Walter was a queen in every way: kind, noble, incredibly talented, generous with love and support. And so hilarious. She was the brilliant center of our @ archerfxx universe. Sweet flight to you, dear Jessica. You were so loved and we were lucky to know you. pic.twitter.com/0fsXh6CwbS
– Aisha Tyler (@aishatyler) March 25, 2021
OH NO … We worked together on ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT for years. It was an honor to watch her front row comedy explode. https://t.co/edVRAPsKRk
– Henry Winkler (@ hwinkler4real), March 25, 2021
She was a force, and her talent and timing were second to none. Rest in peace Mama Bluth. pic.twitter.com/wJeOeJleR3
– Tony Hale (@MrTonyHale) March 25, 2021
I just heard the shitty news about Jessica Walter, an absolutely brilliant actress and amazing talent. I consider myself privileged and very happy to work with her. Lucille Bluth is one of the greatest figures on television
– David Cross (@davidcrosss) March 25, 2021
I loved Jessica Walter. For me, the comic genius of her twist on “Arrested Development” made it even more appealing to know her mainly from dramatic work in films like “Play Misty For Me”. You can watch their reaction shots on a loop. Lucille Bluth forever. pic.twitter.com/hwBLDyJBET
– Edgarwright (@edgarwright) March 25, 2021
Oh man!! I loved you, Jessica Walter. I grew up watching you AND admiring you. Always excellent throughout. Have a good rest https://t.co/40d22s6pA1
– Viola Davis (@violadavis) March 25, 2021
Jessica Walter was an incredible actor! Rest in peace. https://t.co/f2WotaygHT
– Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) March 25, 2021
(Photo credit: Jason Laver / FilmMagic)